Cambodia: Defense of the Khmers Rouges victims
Civil parties Defense Support Office in the context of the CETC (oct. to sept. 2013)
The Extraordinary Chambers were created within the Cambodian courts. Set up in July 2007, this court was designed under the umbrella of the United Nations, in order to prosecute the responsibles for the crimes perpetrated during the Khmers Rouges regime bewteen 1975 and 1979, which led to the death of 3 million people. This court is a hybrid tribunal, composed by 2/3 of Cambodians and 1/3 of foreigners.
At the time of its creation in 2007, there was no fund to support the legal representation of victims.They were yet authorized to take part to trials and to sollicitate ASF France's support to gather the victims' complaints and to help them to build their civil-party files.
Thereafter, the Victims Unit (today the Victim Support Section of the Tribunal, aka in french Section d’Appui aux Victimes du Tribunal (SAV)) was created to help and gather funds, which were however unsufficient. Many Cambodian and international lawyers groups were created with the support of the international community. It was in this context that ASF France build a team to ensure civil party defence.
This project aimed at ensuring defence of the victims before the Extraordinary Chambers created within the Cambodian Tribunals (CETC) for two trials.
The goal was to lead to an aknowledgment of the status of the Khmers Rouges' victims, as civil party before the CETC. Thus, it takes part to the rebuilding of State of Law in Cambodia.
A team of Cambodian and international lawyers was build to defend a group of civil parties before the Extraordinary Chambers created within the Cambodian Courts.
- Testimonies and proof gathering for the victims who wished to be civil parties
- Organisation of an information chain for the victims
- Constitution and submission of files before the Tribunals.
- Checking the developments of the files submitted before the Tribunals
- Statements and other documents preparation
- Victims and other witnesses' hearings preparation
- Defence before the Tribunal: participation to hearing and pleas
File n°001 : Kaing Gueg Eav trial ( aka Duch )
Former Head of the Detention and Torture Center S 21 (Tuol Sleng), which led to the death of over 12 000 people. ASF France team was representing 28 of the 90 civil parties of this trial.
On February 3rd 2012, the Supreme Court Chamber of the CETC sentenced Kaing Gueg Eav to life imprisonment.
File n°002 : trial of the 4 still alive high dignitaries of the regime
Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary et Ieng Thirith.
ASF France Team represented 1135 of the 3867 civil parties in the context of the project. Judgment's second phase was launched on June 27 2011.
ASF France team, serving as friend of the court, acted side by side with other groups of international and cambodian lawyers in order to make the voice of the victims heard, who for the first time in ad hoc court have the opportunity to be represented as civil party during the trials.
CETC website : http://www.eccc.gov.kh/fr